I Knew What the Wild Geese Knew
by Davey Weathercock
Canada and Snow Gesse winter over on Cayuga Lake feeding in the cornfields during the day, and returning in the evenings to the lake. Because the lake is so deep, the lake just about never freezes over, but ice forms early on the shallow North end of the lake and often lingers well into April: the weidrest month, the month of clashing seasons, the between-time, when moist warm air ecounters the ice, forming a heavy fog that, in the absence of wind, just hangs there.
I went ice fishing there one fifty degree day in April twenty some years ago, when there was such a thick fog that I couldn’t see the shore once I was a dozen paces out onto the ice, and I would not have noticed the holes that other fishermen had augered into the ice had there not been someone sitting on an upended spackle bucket by each of them, or had they not left a red-flaged tip-up rig … and then I stepped in one left by someone who had taken their tackle and gone on someprevious day. Ordinarly, at least in mid winter, such a hole would have frozen over in one night, but I had rubber bottom duck boots on and didn’t get wet. So, being that it was an abandoned hole, it was now mine. I set my tip-up, baited it with a sardine, and stood watching it for a while, but soon grew bored staring into that dark hole, so I wandered off, watching my feet, being careful not to step in another hole. I was going away from shore but figured that I would easily enough find my way back by heading for the sound of country music on one of the fishermans’ radio.
On I went, barely able to see my own feet, the sound of the radio becoming faint, but It was good in the wilderness of that cloud to feel so away from it all.
And then: such a furious explosion of sound that it seemed to come from within me …. as if I were a Boeing 747 taking off …. and I say Boeing 747, not just in a desperate reach for an appropriate analogy, but becuse at that moment, and without the lag of thought, I involuntarily felt myself … efectually BELIEVED myself to be a Boeing 747 taking off.
On the strength of that unwilled and unexamined conviction, I jumped, I sprang, I leapt … in one motion l took flight: an e x t e n d e d flight … a flight of unwilled suspension, or of what? Psychic Propulsion? Self Kenisis? Autonomous Teleportation?
At the peak of my parabolic arc, I must have been at least eight feet high, up where the fog was thinner and I could see the flapping shapes of the snow geese around me. I don’t know if it is at all common for snowgeese to spend the night on the ice, or if they had just landed there by mistake, not seeing the ice because of the fog.
At that point, still not really thinking, I began flapping my wings, I mean my arms. I know how hard I was flapping, because my shoulders were sore for weeks afterward, and the right side rotator cuff has never been quite the same since.
This mindless moment of para-flight impressed me more than anything I had ever experienced. When I made it back to where the others tended their tip-ups, I found mine sprung, and pulled out a small pickrel which was too deeply hooked to be released, so I gave it to the fisherman with the radio, who told me that he had heard the roar of the geese taking off and had not been able to guess what it was.
By then, the sun had mostly shown the fog out, so I walked back to where my tracks on the soft ice stopped … resuming with a smear forty-three paces by my measure from my take off.
The implication that I might get access to the ability and actually fly like a bird, had me hoping for many years to fly again, but for all the attention I gave to that (a lot) I had very little success, and I don’t think it has anything to do with my damaged rotator cuffs.
I have mostly suspected the problem to be that I have never been to MAKE myself believe I am a bird or a plane. In twenty some years of trying to trick myself I have gotten nowhere, and I would feel foolish if I were to detail some of the attempts here. Lately I have been thinking that even belief is not the answer, or at least not enough. Watching the flight of a thousand starlings turning and turning across the sky in perfect synchronization, with no signal given or time for it to be communicated, it seems clear enough that the flock is one living thing. So I only need to become one with the flock, right? You know the ancient and woowoo, and then the hard science regarding the entanglement of distant particles, action at a distance, quantum mechanics, and popular buzzwords.
And I may, in my way, embrace my bird and keep trying to fly; but don’t you expect to hear about it. I would just recommend simply walking in the clouds anytime you have a chance, A little wilderness can take you a long way.
IN THIS ISSUE–––
• OREN PIERCE, GuestEditor
Welcome to the Weird Issue
• DAVEY WEATHERCOCK
My Heart KnewWhat the
Wild Geese Knew
• DAVID S. WARREN
Natural Bone Chapter 2
• FRANKLIN CRAWFORD
21 Things You May or May Not
• RHIAN ELLIS
• GABRIEL ORGREASE
Perry City Dinks
• ANNIE CAMPBELL
The Deserted House
• SUE-RYN BURNS
• GEORGIA WARREN
The Soldiers' Story
• SUE-RYN BURNS Wild Turkeys
• MARY GILLILAND Kitchen Theater
• PETER FORTUNATO
Cocks of the Walk (Key West)
Copernicus under cover
to the Weird Issue
by Oren Pierce, Guest Editor
(short excerpt here, read it all
on the home page)
Weathercock (I feel) has presented us not with just an honest meditation on the uncanny nature of everyday life that an unsensational treatment of the theme requires, nor is it either fact or fiction, but just plain fake news.
Not wanting to be too negative, I won’t get any further into that. Read and judge for yourself.
Just about everything else in this issue is fine with me and I recommend the writings to you without further doo doo. ______________________
by Rhian Ellis
The letters came, and the letters came, and then they stopped. The last came in the autumn, with the falling leaves and the clotting sky, but through the long grayness of winter there was nothing.
Ruth continued to write even though it felt as though she was dropping her pages into a bottomless well. She asked questions that were never answered and told stories that seemed unheard. She wrote faster and more frantically as the snow blew into the city and hid the dirt and the trash and the broken things. She imagined her sister in her little house, out there in the wilderness, burning logs and nursing babies and what else? What did she do? Life was so different out there, so hard to imagine...
And then a letter came, on the same rough paper, written with the same too-sharp pen that scratched. But the hand was unfamiliar. And inside, the letter was hard to read and cramped and was almost like the writing of a child. Perhaps it was the writing of a child.
Sister Ruth-- I hayte that I am the barer of the world’s moust dreaded newes but the truth is that our dearr Jane is dead and so are the chyldren tifuss came to our small house and we coud not stop it. First the older chyld then Jane then the baby went to the arms of Jesuss. Wheeler is the only chyld left and I am left too tho to what purpose I
(go to story)
Natural Bone Chapter 2 with recap
by David Warren
Noah had stared at the falling water for he didn’t know how long, when his eyes began to wander around the yellowish chamber floor and he saw a helmet lying there: a battered metal helmet with stubby horns. And then, only a few yards from the helmet, he saw a bodiless head in a nest of its own hair among the rocks. It’s eyes were wide open, and the grisly thing spoke to him, although in an understandably weak and sighing sort of voice.
“Don’t be afraid!” said the Head “I’m just a head.” click here for the recap of chapter 1 and all of Chapter 2
by Annie Campbell
One time, the kids and I stopped to explore a large deserted house on Townline road near Trumansburg. It still had its roof and didn’t look too bad, so we squeezed through a door coming off its hinges. Plaster and lath which had fallen from the ceilings in the three spacious rooms we could see - littered the floor. Carefully, the three of us made our way to a big room that still had a few glass panes in the windows. A wide staircase beckoned, and I made the kids wait while I went up. It seemed safe enough so I waited for them to catch up to me.
(go to story)
Weldon packs a yellow umbrell athough he doesn’t expect to use it. “If I carry a yellow parapluie jaune,” he tells Mathilde, “it might fake out the rain sprights. Energize them. Maybe drought will start to end. Vive la pluie.” He finds his French words exhilarating, as he does his French girl friend.
(go to story)
Perry City Dinks
by Gabreal Orgrease
“Fire so hot and quick that when they opened the trailer door they found my father sitting smack in front of the tube with his reading glasses melted around his nose still holding an instant coffee on his lap only the skin of his fingers was stuck to the melted thermal mug.” (go to story)
1 I was at a crosswalk and the oncoming motorist stopped to let me pass.
2 Rocks along the train tracks are of consistent size and shape, composed mostly of basalt. They are excellent throwing rocks, as if quarried and broken for that purpose. I hit a RR sign with one on a quiet creosote-rich afternoon and it made a startling racket. Some deer broke out of the sedge. I felt lonely all of a sudden.
3 Toenail fungus is a form of life that is hard to evict from the body. It has generated a whole line of quackadoodle remedies. The only surefire way to get rid of it is to have all infected toes removed.
4 When I checked my pants pockets this morning, I found 77 cents in quarters, nickels, dimes and two pennies. I don’t normally keep pennies. Pennies are not worthless, but we don’t use them for cadavers any more so why save them? There is nothing significant about 77, except it was in the title of an old TV show called "77 Sunset Strip."
For numbers 5 to 21 click here
by Georgia Warren
I was taught hand reading in the 1960s by a doctor from India who was getting certified to practice medicine in the US. It took me two years to learn the intricacies of the India-style of hand reading. When Dr. Singh said I was ready to go out on my own.I got a seat working steadily in a coffee house in Akron Ohio.
One night a couple of soldiers back from Vietnam stopped by. Their hands were in their coat pockets.. They said they wanted me to read their hands. They were laughing, and I was sure they’d probably had a “couple” of beers. I didn’t have the attitude that I gained years later to say, “I don’t do readings for people who have been drinking.” The two of them sat down, still smirking. They took their hands out of their pockets, they were prosthetiucs. Neither of them had any hands for me to read. (go to story)
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